Downtown Reno business district hires staff, team of ‘ambassadors’
RENO, Nev. — Downtown Reno residents and visitors will soon start seeing “ambassadors” in bright blue shirts and riding bikes, starting this Sunday, Nov. 11, in the city’s Veterans Day parade.
The ambassadors are part of the Downtown Reno Partnership, a private nonprofit business improvement district charged with enhancing the city’s urban core.
According to a Nov. 8 news release on behalf of the partnership, leading the DRP team of 14 is operations manager Grant Denton, who was previously a peer recovery specialist and program developer at The Life Change Center, a local nonprofit that offers recovery services for heroin and prescription drug abuse.
Denton and ambassadors recently were hired through StreetPlus, a company with more than 25 years of experience supplying cleaning, safety and hospitality services to downtowns and improvement districts across the country.
“StreetPlus has helped us assemble a really stellar team of individuals who will interface with locals, visitors, businesses and the transient population in Downtown Reno,” Alex Stettinski, Downtown Reno Partnership executive director, said in a statement. “Our ambassadors have been training for the last several weeks and will be in uniform on the streets starting Veterans Day.”
Ambassadors will reportedly work to improve, promote and enhance the overall attractiveness and appeal of Downtown Reno’s business improvement district.
Duties including litter control, weed abatement, graffiti removal, visibility and presence patrols, personal safety escorts, homeless outreach and providing general hospitality services for all visitors, workers, business owners and residents of Downtown Reno.
DRP also welcomes to its staff Marketing Manager Mike Higdon and Office Manager Tanya Polli.
Higdon previously worked as city life reporter at the Reno Gazette Journal for more than three years, where he covered Midtown and downtown urban life.
Polli worked for decades as a human resources manager and later as an executive assistance in the tech and medical industries.
Currently, the partnership is without a website, though one is being developed at downtownreno.org.
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.